Archive for January, 2013

Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I am always amazed at the way my Louie Louie Lad rewrites my WW Writes – oh, he doesn’t put words in my mouth, he just takes words OUT.  So far it hasn’t been hugely negative … but he is absolutely convinced that none of you all would understand my meaning if he didn’t fix things. How do I get him to stop fixing things?

 Now let’s see what he does with this!

It’s Cold Outside

Friday, January 25th, 2013

I am sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room, looking out at the ice, and remembering some of my favorite it’s so cold jokes. You know them. It’s so cold you could freeze an egg on the sidewalk. It’s so cold the streakers are just describing themselves. It’ so cold I saw a politician with his hand in his own pocket. I know…it is appropriate that cold rhymes with old, because those jokes are. How about, it’s so cold that nobody wants to go out, but some of the guys at the singles bars who felt they’re just too good looking to stay home. Or how about it’s so cold that girls are going with guys who have the flu because they have high temperatures. It’s so cold you have to part your hair with an axe ? Actually, I went out to the mailbox this morning, and I forgot I had my coffee cup in my hand…it still had a little coffee in it…and when I got back inside, I found a little chunk of coffee left. Hens are laying eggs from a standing position ? Ok…I’ll stop. But I should tell you that I just saw on the internet, that a group of cold chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel in Maine, and were standing around in the lobby to warm up, and boasting about how they were going to become chess grand masters. After about an hour the manager came out of the office and asked them to go to their rooms, because he couldn’t stand seeing chess nuts boasting in an open foyer. It was awful. And those poor Eskimos sitting in a kayak who got so chilly that they lit a fire in the boat. And the fire burned a hole in the boat so it sank. Proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too. Ok. Ok. You know what’s really cold? Feeling lonely when everybody else is smiling and laughing…not just alone…lonely. There’s a difference…a winter ocean shining like black steel in the full moonlight…your call cannot be completed as dialed…that’s cold…so is the guy standing next to you at a ball game who won’t sing the national anthem …macho is cold…you’re fired is cold…kool with a k is cold…chalk scratching on a blackboard…a half empty bed…distrust…perfection is cold…a dark city street in a bad neighborhood… goodbye is cold…and isn’t it funny that old is colder than getting older. I’m keeping that “getting there” part in my life. And I hope you will too.

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1- Why do some people look like small, worm like creatures that crawled out of cracks in the sea floor ?

2- Why does it seem like there a decreasing number of Egyptian mummies ?

3- What’s the stinkiest way to lose your magnetism ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car today that said, “Guns don’t kill people. Driving forty-five in the fast lane kills people.” I thought that was pretty cold. Laughs can be cold or hot. A warm laugh is one of the best ways to start a love affair, and a cold laugh may be one of the nastiest ways to end a love affair. You hear some of the coldest words on an answering machine. That’s where a lot of people tell you it’s time to forget.

It’s hard to forget … when you keep finding traces of perfume left in a dresser drawer, two ticket stubs hidden under a pillow on the couch, a dress left hanging in a half empty closet, a song that won’t stop playing in your head. It’s so hard…when you know you have to forget…forever.

The Answering Machine is from the Love Comes When You Least Expect It personal audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or you can check out the CD by clicking on the icon on the home page.

True story. A long time ago, when I was just a little kid, my mom took me to the City on a cold winter morning. When you live in Brooklyn, going to Manhattan is called going to the city. It was very early in the morning. And it was a very cold morning. As we were approaching the subway station, I saw a homeless man sleeping on a park bench. I didn’t know what that was all about because I was too young, and too safe to know anything about being homeless till then. I asked my mom what’s he doing there. She didn’t answer right away, so I remember looking up at her…and she was crying. Mom was not a crier. She picked me up, and she very quietly said “he doesn’t have a bed to sleep on.” And she held me tighter than I ever remembered her holding me…for just a moment. I didn’t understand at the time, but I sure do now. Mom has been just a beautiful memory for a long time now. And that memory is one of the most bitter sweet memories I have of her. My Lady Wonder Wench grew up in a cold water flat in Boston. No central heat. Just a pot of hot water on the stove.  In Boston.

It’s cold tonight. But my book talks about how important it is to keep a gratitude attitude. So here’s my gratitude attitude on this very cold night. I’m sitting here on my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my warm living room…with a full winter night’s stack of wood to burn in the fireplace. I cut the wood from a tree that came down in my yard in a storm last summer. I told you about that in my book, Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot. It’s in the chapter called Manly Fun And Games…for those of you who have a copy…and I hope that includes you. The book is about some of the funny and wonderful things that have happened in my life. The most wonderful thing that ever happened to me in my life was the night my Lady Wonder Wench walked in like a queen arriving at her castle. Gratitude Attitude…on this cold winter night. She brought home some slivers of Summer from the supermarket today…blueberries and water melon slices. Gratitude attitude. She just smiled at me…that warm…Lady Wonder Wench smile. It keeps all the ice all the way outside. 


Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

There is really nothing wrong with his body … just his eyes …But I’ll take that, because those eyes still see me the way I was when I was forty which was a few years ago.

 So take that, Mr. Clooney …

The Gratitude-Attitude Part 2

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room trying to keep my gratitude attitude going. The gratitude attitude is an important part of my new book, Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot. I’ve got to admit that even for the guy who wrote the book, some days, keeping the gratitude attitude going is a little harder than other days. Something went “pop” in my right shoulder a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to do push ups ever since, and I’m feeling fat. I’m trying to apply the gratitude attitude by telling myself, I’m not really getting fat, I’m just getting easier to spot in a crowd. I went to see doctor Boyd, and he basically said, “You know I can’t make you any younger.” I said, “That’s not the point. The point is I want to get a good deal older.”

I guess there is no question that I am entering the third stage of man. In case you forgot, Big Louie, his own bad self defines the three stages of man as youth, middle age, and “Gee you look good.” This third stage terminates when you’ve never been so handsome, but it does you no good because you’re dead. This outburst is the result of coming across an old push ups diary. I used to keep track of doing pushups. The diary reads like this: “Only 90 pushups today. I did 100 yesterday, and that was exciting.” I remember that day. When I got to 90 I said to my body…”well”…and my body said, “well what ?” I said, “Come on. Ten more.” And my body said, “Ten more what?” I said, “Ten more push ups.” And it just locked up…right there, and it said, “If you ever say that to me again, I will just stay locked up like this…arms out like Frankenstein for the rest of your natural life.” I did not know at the time if this was one brief shining moment in the sun, or just a temporary setback on the path to geriatric Shwartzenegger-hood. Sometimes it is difficult for me to convince my body to just say no to negativity.

When I was a kid, I remember that my body used to get mad at my brother Pete sometimes. And sometimes my body really wanted to do the Cain and Able tango with him. That’s when my dad gave me an early version of water boarding. That’s water without the board. When my body got really mad, my dad used to dump my body, with me in it, into a bathtub full of cold water. That quieted my body down pretty fast. It took me a little while to realize that he must have filled that tub first thing in the morning, getting ready for when I needed cooling off. He usually didn’t spank me…he dunked me. I bet he kind of looked forward to my throwing a fit. He probably called his buddy Barney MacGovern and said, “Hey, come on over and we’ll have some laughs. It looks like I’m going to have to dunk the kid.”

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

  1. Besides the historical big stuff, what did Moses do ?
  2. What’s a double negative ?
  3. What is there about an avocado that you don’t want in your salad?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

Before my body attacked me, I used to go to the gym pretty regularly. I called it my pushup palace. There’s a story about a push up palace queen in the Night Connections Personal Audio CD. She was almost undone by a combination of the smell of sweat, the sound of a guy’s voice, the solid feeling of his hand helping her up, and the simple temptation of being a long way from home and away from anyone who knew her, when…a quick flash of female fire ignited that almost went out of control.

“The Workout Woman” is from the Night Connections Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Night Connections icon on the home page.

Before my body attacked me, I used to ride my bike past the campus of Penn State University. And every year at exam time, I’d see students sitting in their cars, cramming for exams…holding their heads, making faces, and looking at textbooks like they’d never even heard of the subjects. And I remember thinking these pimple people are studying architecture, law and medicine. They are going to become architects, lawyers and doctors. And I remember thinking that the next time I go to the 100th floor of the Empire State Building, I’m going to remember that architecture student looking at his textbook like he didn’t recognize a word of what he was reading. And when the building starts to sway in a high wind, I’ll probably remember that scared look he had on his face…and that’s not going to make me feel very good. When my lawyer is standing next to me in court, and the bad guys are trying to grab my goodies, I’ll remember that same expression on that law student’s face. And when the doctor thumps my chest, puts on his rubber glove and puts his hand in disgusting places and then backs away from me…well …you understand I’m sure.

I’m not really in terrible shape. Yet. My rock may be stuck, but I can still roll. I like going for a brisk sit. Actually, I have everything I had 20 years ago, only now it’s lower. I can’t do 100 pushups any more, but  I can do stuff now that I couldn’t do 20 years ago. The Gratitude Attitude, from Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot. Just the other night, my landing light went out while my Lady Wonder Wench and I were coming back from a flight…she didn’t scream and I landed safely. I couldn’t have done that 20 years ago. Gratitude Attitude. I’m pretty much over that knee operation I had a few years ago. 20 years ago, my knees were just going bad. Gratitude Attitude. Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot. Got my flu shot, and didn’t get the flu. Yet. Still have a silly streak, because I keep thinking every time somebody gets a flu shot there’s a voodoo doll out there having a really bad day. Gratitude Attitude. Even when I say things like that my Lady Wonder Wench still hasn’t run off with that George Clooney. Yet.

Wonder Wench Writes

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

There’s a small problem with that recording of my voice my estimable Louie Louie Lad uses … I hate it.  The one which says, “Richard!” – over  and over again.  Sounds, of course, like my little green Conyer Yoder, who apparently adored me and absolutely hated RICHARD.  Don’t you all think there is just something slightly wrong with putting a cage with a small, unable to defend himself green parrot on the ground (ON THE GROUND, FOR PITY’S SAKE!!!!) in the back yard?  Just so he could do his recording?  Because Yoder spent all his time when I wasn’t home screeching?  I mean, really …

 Get a grip, Dickie Lad – I have it on absolute authority (Cassie says so) that you are neither old nor falling apart.



But give yourself time and anything is possible …

The Gratitude Attitude

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The Attitude of Gratitude Connection   1-12-13

I’m sitting here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather papa chair in my living room, and my legs are hurting, and I’m trying to remember what my Lady Wonder Wench wanted me to do with her car tomorrow, and I’m looking at a blank page where the copy for a new TV commercial that’s due tomorrow is supposed to be…and in general, I’m feeling like an oldie-mouldy. Do you ever get that feeling? Like old age is creeking up on you. You feel like your social security number could be one. Like when God said, “Let there be light”…you were the one who flipped the switch. You feel yourself going from why not to why bother. You’re tempted to go to a dentist and have him put braces on your dentures to make you feel younger. Is that what’s bothering you? Huh? Does it seem like your wild oats have turned to shredded wheat?  Don’t complain. Remember the Attitude/Gratitude Connection. As Big Louie, his own bad self says: “We have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart?”

George Carlin had a wonderful and very smart take on getting old. He said, “The most unfair thing about life is how it ends. Life is tough. What do you get at the end of it ? Death. What’s that, a bonus ? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get that out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work 40 years till your young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party hearty, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating…and you finish off in an orgasm.” George Carlin was a Louie Louie kind of guy.

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1- What’s up in Texas between Alice and Louise?

2- Why would it be hard to start a rumor during a thermonuclear explosion?

3- What do guys and the Eiffel Tower have in common?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

It’s sometimes a weird time of life now…finding yourself in the middle of a room and wondering, “Who am I and what am I doing here?” Getting down on the floor to do some push ups, and pushing…and having Mr. Floor totally ignore you. Finding yourself saying, “What?” a lot.

It happened so fast. Just when I figured I was getting my head together, my muscles fell off. Last year my doctor said “I think you should have a stress test so I can save your life.” I said ok. The first thing he did was give me a form to sign that said essentially that this life saving test could kill me, but I’m holding everybody in sight blameless. I signed it because I figured if I’m dead why should I care. Then he started the treadmill; every few minutes the speed and the angle went up. I was sweating pretty good, but I was keeping up. So I asked the doctor what’s the record for this thing. He said 27 minutes. So I put my head down and got into it. But when I hit 17 minutes HE STOPPED THE DAMN THING. I said…WHAT ARE YOU DOING ? And he said it. The thing I HATE. He said “You did very well FOR A GUY YOUR AGE.” If he had been standing one foot closer, I’d have grabbed his stethoscope and blown Revile right in his ears.

There are lots of advantages to being a member of the Louie Louie Generation, not the least of which is called, “Been There, Done That.” But it’s also true that you find yourself doing some things that you didn’t do before. And you don’t like all of them. There’s a story about that from the Night Connections Personal Audio CD in the current podcast. It’s a fast lesson in how quickly our lives slip away. And, been there, done that. I know how that woman’s husband felt when he woke up that morning. I bet he stopped on the way home from work, and bought her some flowers.

“The Slip Away Wife” is from the Night Connections Personal Audio CD. If you like it you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just and download it from the Night Connections icon on the home page.

The Attitude/Gratitude Connection. There’s a lot about it in my book, Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot. It’s a big part of the difference between the proud members of the Louie Louie Generation and those Dreadful, Dreary Drones. It’s the difference between being not young, and being old. It’s not really the years at all. My friend Paul Berge nailed it in his introduction to my book. He said, “Louie Louie Folks may not always remember where we put the car keys, or where we put the car for that matter. But we feel pretty good about the fact that we do have a car…somewhere.” We have an attitude of gratitude. Lots of folks don’t look at their lives that way. Lots of folks hate the fact that the years have been piling up on them.

Maybe instead of letting their oldie-mouldy feelings eat up the rest of their lives, they should try an attitude of gratitude for all those years. Lots of people don’t get to complain about all their years. Like those kids in Connecticut who never got to go to a record hop and dance to Louie Louie, or drive a car, or fall in love and bring someone flowers.

Wonder Wench Writes

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Well, I have no problem calling my Louie Louie Lad Dickie … especially when I want something particular from him.  Which is not often … sort of … and I am far from being anything like Sister Mary Knucklebuster …

I must admit that he actually looks better than the picture they take of him at the DMV.  After all, I have seen what passes for a picture of me … whew … the doggone thing misses my bright eyes and the lovely curl in my (all right) grey hair and the non-lines in my non-aged face and all that other good stuff … so why should his be any different?

 Come on, Lad, get a grip.  You are gorgeous.  What else do you want?


Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

I’m sitting here in my big, manly, comfortable, black leather papa chair in my living room after a very satisfying day. I went to get my driver’s license renewed yesterday. They take your picture. It didn’t do me justice. It really looks like me. Well at least my teeth aren’t wrinkled. I brought along a picture of George Clooney, and I asked the woman in charge to use that on my license. I said, “Who’d notice the difference.” She looked at me as if one more word and she was going to put me on the terrorist no fly list. And they make you sign your name. They printed my grown up name on the license…¦Richard Summer. But I signed it with my real name Dick Summer. I like to be called Dick. In today’s politically correct world, the word Dick gets a little attention. I like attention.

I’m a little put off when people call me Richard. Sister Mary Knuckelbuster used to call me Richard in grammar school. And when my Lady Wonder Wench is angry with me she calls me Richard. She had a little parrot who didn’t like me, and he came to understand that when she said Richard it was because she didn’t like something. So he started calling everything he didn’t like Richard, including the cat. And telemarketers usually ask for Richard because that’s the name on the phone bill. So I tend to think of Richard as some guy I don’t really want to know.

Mr. Summer is way out of line for me. I am as you know, a Louie Louie Lad, whose calendar years have substantially out numbered my maturity level. And I’ve always taken to heart the words of Big Louie His Own Bad Self the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie Louie generation. Louie says, “The more seriously you take yourself, the funnier you look.” So I think of myself as Dick and that’s how I usually sign my name. The word Dick is short, to the point, and it gets attention.

I was “Dickie” when I was a kid, because my father’s name was also Dick. Mom and Dad still called me Dickie when I became a grand father. My brothers and a couple of my cousins still call me Dickie sometimes and to be honest I get a kick out of being Dickie. I liked being a kid. When I had kids of my own, I liked to kid with my kids. And with their kids.

I like kid things like pulling the paper off crayons because they smell nice, pushing a straw through a very thick chocolate milkshake, and building a snow fort the way we built them in the Holy City of Brooklyn when I was a kid. When the snow plow came down the block in those days, it pushed big piles of snow over to the curb, so we just dug down in the middle of the snow pile. When the bad guys from up the street rammed the fort, all they got for it was a mouth full of snow…and it wasn’t always completely white snow, because there were lots of dogs in the neighborhood.

I always loved the smell of flowers drifting through a screen door in an August thunderstorm when I was a kid, and sliding back and forth in a bath tub to mix the hot water with the cooler water in the back, and tinker toys, and erector sets and popcorn and stick ball, and kick the can. I had a great kid hood.

I really loved the sixties when we all acted like kids. For no particular reason, I made up a little ditty about them. It went like this: It was the Beatles and the Stones,  JFK, Bobby and Teddy.It was mini skirts, and ice cream cones, Louie-Louie and going steady.

I think mini skirts were one of the best things that happened in the sixties. They were short, to the point, and they got your attention. Like the name Dick. Â But the nicest skirt I ever saw in the 60s, was a pleated wool plaid skirt that my Lady Wonder Wench wore when I first met her. Maybe it wasn’t actually the skirt that got my attention. And I liked it even more when she wore spaghetti straps too. It was un-believable. It turned my testosterone spigot to the flood position.

The Politically Correct Forces For Good In The Community huff and puff, and call that kind of thinking sexist. I hereby give those folks the words of Big Louie who quite reasonably always says “If the lord hadn’t meant for us to be sexist, how come he gave us sex ?

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1-    What kind of balls drop on New Year’s not far from me in Pennsylvania ?

2-    Why did the smart guys in the white lab coats cross human cells with carrot cells ?

3-    What statement do both astronauts and strippers say a lot?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

I liked being a kid. And I liked kidding around with my kids. And their kids. That’s part of why I like being called Dick instead of Richard. I was a lucky little kid. I grew up in a family that worked hard, played hard, loved hard, and respected dreams. I was around 8 when I started dreaming about being the guy talking on the radio. Not too much later, I started dreaming about a beautiful woman…the kind who wore spaghetti straps because she knew I liked them. I dreamed of writing books, and hypnotizing people, and flying my own airplane. And all those dreams came true. I sometimes wonder if I’d have gotten to do those things if I hadn’t dreamed about them first. I think dreams are magic.

Years before I met her, I saw my lady in a dream. She was on her knees, working in a garden, smiling up at me with a little dirt on her face, wearing a muddy apron, with a little trowel in one hand. I looked out our back window one day last May and she was doing…exactly that. Exactly like I saw her doing in that dream I had of her long before we met.

If It Weren’t For Dreams is from the Lovin Touch Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast, or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Lovin Touch icon on the home page.

There’s just no question that a Louie-Louie Generation gentleman like me needs to keep the little kid inside under control. In my  case,  it would probably be best to disguise my little Dickie in a wig, fake nose and sunglasses, and try to get him into the Federal Problem Kid Relocation program. He’s forever going around the tables at the diner and turning those Heinz catsup bottles upside down because he thinks that’s one of the great ideas of the new century. Have you seen those bottles? They have a big round pouring spout so you can store them upside down, so you don’t have to pound the bottom to get the last bit out. Brilliant. Â Not as brilliant as mini skirts. But brilliant.

Leave little Dickie alone, and he’d be inclined to buy a can of whipped cream and squirt it into his mouth till it came out his nose. He would play all day with the Lionel Train his Lady Wonder Wench got him for Christmas…or with his Red Ryder BB gun…or his little four seat airplane. This is not how a Louie-Louie Generation grandfather is supposed to act.

But actually, when I have to I can put on a pair of cufflinks, and go to a business lunch to answer a client’s objection to my latest commercial, while I adroitly make a perfect spaghetti ball by twirling it on my fork with a spoon behind it. I can even answer when the license woman calls me Richard. But there are limits. I can’t fake it and act like Richard for too long because I know what’s going to happen. My little Dickie is just going to pop up and laugh out loud.